[Insight]: Undocumented features (re: BDP8000/others)
I have this "crazy" habit, according to my brother and my friends, to read the user manual of anything I purchase.
Sometimes there are features that are not listed in the manuals or not explained to their full use.
I decided to share a couple of my accidental findings with the BDP8000, and I invite anyone here to do the same, regardless of any Blu-Ray player model you use.
During disc playback if the user wants to get info for remaining time, chapter, etc., he or she must press the options key in the remote and scroll down to the Info tag.
It so happens that when playing a DVD or some BD-V the user can press "Ok" in the remote and get the same info. With some Blu-Ray discs this does not work, and I believe it is due to some BD-Java code or key inhibition loaded in the player.
The BDP8000 can remember the settings and the stop point of a few of the last DVDs and some BD-V that were removed from the player. It becomes intuitive for anyone coming to that conclusion after a few disc playbacks.
The manual, however, does not mention this feature or at least I could not find any info to that effect in it. As a result, there is no indication of how many discs can be remembered after their interrupted playback.
Please note, that unlike players of other brands, there is no message on screen saying that the last position had been saved. The only clue one gets is the message for BD-V warning that the disc playback "might" start from the beginning or the messages from other discs saying to play Ok to start the disc from the beginning.
Before I purchased the BDP8000 I read comments in the Internet regarding a key sequence that the user can utilize to get more detailed info of the player hardware and software versions and settings. To get this info on screen one must press "Home" and 8520. After reading the box you can press Ok and it will go off.
The above procedure is most likely directed to those servicing the player, and it must be described in the player's service manual. It is up to the generosity of Internet users to provide us with such methods. In my case, it came in handy when I had to send my player for servicing, since it allowed me to write down the hardware details of what was within.
Please feel free to post the findings of your player. You never know if they will be useful for another user!
I'm working in Philips on Blu-ray players. Thank you very much for your sharing and input. First of all, it is correct that our players can memorize the last stop position of a DVD or Blu-ray title disc. But it can only remember the last played disc.
Regarding the method you mentioned, it is used for our repairing service center and development purpose. Indeed, most of the information can also be read via the 'Setup' menu --> ''Advanced'--> ''Version Info'.
Thanks for reading my posting and clarifying the last disc played feature.
I must check this again, but I am almost sure that the last disc played feature refers to a specific medium. If memory serves I have interrupted the playing of a DVD, inserted another disc, say a BD-V, and then returned to the same DVD and the player remembered where I stopped it.
The "Version Info" is indeed useful, but only as firmware update is concerned. In my understanding, there is no reason why manufacturers cannot provide advanced users or enthusiasts with more information about their players.
I know people who will open the lid of what they purchase in order to check what is inside and/or if their machines are well built or need to be modified. Most enthusiasts, however, will be happy to know that information from the manufacturer itself.
It may be apparently silly to open machines lids to search for chipsets and other components but that is ultimately what makes the good reputation of specific equipment, especially disc players, among other enthusiasts.
I agree, Paulo, a nice "feature" information site would be very nice. Some information such as the integrated opera browser version, region code etc. should be viewable without pressing some hidden number combination.
DVD Region for one that is of utmost interest to International users. If one happens to hack his/her player the 8520 info code is the only way to confirm that.
And why do people hack their players to achieve multiregion playback? Because they need too. I would be hypocritical if I said it otherwise.
This monkey business with region coding started in the mid-1990's under enormous pressure from US studios. In this country, player manufacturing started two to three years after DVD was launched. A lot of users had already a lot of R1 discs by then. Local manufacturers soon realized that modding their players was one big asset to sell their models. Brazilian make Gradiente was to first one to supply their users with remote codes. They were quickly followed by other manufacturers, Philips included. You could get those codes in stores or have your player modded at an authorized service for free!
Region coding is, in my humble opinion, outrageous. They won't prevent overseas business let alone piracy.
Many American studios resorted to RCE (I have a lot of those by the way) but after a while they gave up region code completely. One of the first ones to give them up was Disney, believe me or not. At the time they did, I happened to have a contact at Buena Vista in São Paulo who said to me that R1 and R4 discs were no longer coded.
It is a pity that some studios have been sensitive and understanding about the negative aspects of region coding and other features, but others are still inconsistent. Blu-Ray discs should have never succumbed to region coding.
In addition, regardless of whatever region a Blu-Ray disc is set to, there is also the possibility that PAL or NTSC material, including menus is included. I have one such disc in my collection that I could not play the extras with my former Panasonic BD-30.
This is, by the way, one of the reasons Philips players are invaluable, Blu-Ray wise. The Panasonic was opened to DVD R1 and R4, but had no PAL processing at all. In fact, in our market, the Philips machines are the sole ones that are both NTSC and PAL capable players. They are handy not only for Blu-Ray extras but also for any video material that one may have using PAL-1 sources.
My 2 cents.